As British colonies began to grow in the region, trade with Indians became very important. In exchange for European goods, Indians supplied the colonists with deer skins which they sent to Europe to be tanned into buckskin leather. One of the earliest trading posts near Beaufort was established on what is now Dataw Island by 1684. That same year, Scottish Presbyterians founded “Stuart Towne” a colony on the banks ofthe Beaufort River, just a few miles north of Parris Island.

The Scots also immediately began trade with the Indians. The resulting competition, however, strained relations with their English neighbors, and inflamed the Spanish to the south. In 1686 Spanish forces allied with Indians who were rivals of the Indiansthe Scots were trading with, and together they attacked and destroyed Stuart Towne. Survivors fled to Charles Towne, but a hurricane stopped the pursuing Spanish, saving the city from attack.